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Ilre on King East

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A few weeks ago a small cafe-resto called Ilre (that's spelled I L R E, I think) quietly appeared out of nowhere on King St East near Princess, roughly beside Betty's. My wife and I tried it for lunch earlier this week and were pretty impressed. The menu is small -- about a dozen items or so -- with many items being sandwiches. The veal sandwich was delicious, on a large crusty bun with excellent tomato sauce. The veggie panini sandwich was also good. Most sandwiches were priced around $10, with some slightly higher, and some weekly specials slightly lower.

The coffee was also stellar, which is not too surprising considering they claim to be an Italian joint. The vibe is small, cozy, and slightly upscale -- and I was astonished by the number of people coming in for lunch, and for take-out. I think this neighbourhood needed a place exactly like this.

No LLBO license yet, though...

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  1. I walked in there on a Saturday about 2-3 weeks ago. I checked out the place for about 5 minutes. Two staff were nearby, but there were no patrons at all. I left. No one had even bothered to say hello. I won't return.

    3 Replies
      1. re: asugarman

        2-3 weeks before my first post I don't think they were open yet, period. Maybe they were still setting up and not ready for customers? I have to say the service was very friendly when we were there, and they were greeting new arrivals at the door with such enthusiasm that I first thought they were personal friends.

        1. re: asugarman

          Okay maybe it wasn't Saturday. They were very definitely open. Just not for me.

      2. So here it is nearly 3 years later and Il Re is open Saturdays. Not only that, they're serving breakfast. Has anyone had brekkie there? While passing by I noticed the plates in the window seating looked good.

        We kept going and ended up at Bistro 243 where we had a completely underwhelming breakfast. Looking for something good in the trek from condo to SLM. Please don't even mention Le Petit Dejeuner a/k/a Le Long Line-up or Petite Thuet or as I call that one Petite Thuet/Big Joke.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Googs

          I think Il Re is known mainly for their sandwiches. Never tried breakfast. Shame about Bistro 243, we haven't tried it yet but my expectations are low. Our other normal breakfast/brunch haunts within walking distance:

          - George St. Diner - there are lineups here but not as bad as a Le Petite, and you can usually bypass them entirely if you're willing to sit on a stool. They serve diner food that is a cut above many others such as the Patrician Grill (don't get me wrong, I love classic the vibe and burgers/sandwiches at the Patrician but I find their breakfasts and coffee rather uninspiring).

          - Jersey Giant near Front/Church - surprisingly ambitious and well executed food for a pub, with breakfast specials that include things like eggs benedict with duck confit. They did a bit of a reno a year or so back and now the place is not as, er, dank as it used to be, which is a bonus.

          - Jason George near Front/Jarvis - Their brunch menu is reliable and decent if not particularly exciting. And they're in the midst of doubling in size, so getting a table should not be too hard from now on.

          - Morning Glory on King East of Parliament - Good quality diner stuff, all homemade, with a relaxed retro vibe. A bit pricey and sometimes cramped, though the quick turnover keeps the lines from getting anywhere near as long as at Le Long Lineup.

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          Patrician Grill
          219 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J9, CA

          Il Re
          246 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K1, CA

          1. re: Gary

            Oooh! I liked Morning Glory's Jimmy Screech sammy. An egg in the middle of the bread...
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/3...
            Tasty stuff. Cash only. Hours on website were wrong when I last checked, which is why I haven't been back in a while.

          2. re: Googs

            I have been to Il Re for breakfast and it was quite surprisingly delicious (probably one of the best). I had the eggs benedict and I have to honestly say that i was surprised by how good it was. The homefries are also really delicious and I would advise you not to skip out on them. My wife though had a breakfast sandwich and she also was extremely happy with it-something with arugula, eggs and bacon or something or other. I do second 243 bistro, it was not at all what I hoped for.
            After much research though Googs i could not find a link. Odd for a place not to have a website. Next time I am in i will ask for you!

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            Il Re
            246 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K1, CA

            1. re: Daniel Eagen

              That's very much what it looked like when I peered through the window. Sorry random diners, I couldn't resist looking. Thanks Daniel.

          3. Link!

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            Il Re
            246 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K1, CA